BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS (March 26, 2003) - The Caribbean is coming to grips with the realities of the changing preferences of visitors, Jean Holder, secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) said yesterday at the opening of a regional training workshop on Managing Sites and Attractions.
“The Caribbean has for too long relied largely on things like its sea and sand, all lovely products but not enough to capture attention and the enthusiasm of people who are looking for experiences in a changing world,” Mr. Holder told the participants gathered at CTO headquarters in Bridgetown, Barbados, for the four-day workshop.
“This (workshop) marks a very important step in coming to grips with some of the realities of consumer preference.
“What the visitors talk about when they visit a destination are the service that they experienced, the people that they met, the beauty of the country, and the things that they did, and this is truer today than it ever has been,” he said.
Mr. Holder said that CTO had placed a great deal of emphasis on human resource development because the regional organization saw the need for small states to develop the skills and knowledge of their people in order to remain competitive in the global environment.“The Caribbean has always been competitive in music and athletics and sometimes our world reputation for these things obscures the fact that in many areas of the world our intellectual and academic superiority places Caribbean people well ahead of a lot of people that we interact with,” stated the CTO secretary general.
“The Caribbean has always been competitive in music and athletics and sometimes our world reputation for these things obscures the fact that in many areas of the world our intellectual and academic superiority places Caribbean people well ahead of a lot of people that we interact with,” stated the CTO secretary general.
Some fifteen participants from Anguilla, Barbados, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago are attending the March 25 to 28 workshop organised by CTO through its human resource division. The programme includes the examination of techniques and strategies on every aspect of managing a tourism site or attraction. Field visits are also part of the learning experience where participants will have an opportunity to evaluate major attractions.
The Managing Sites and Attractions workshop facilitator is Mrs. Penelope Hyman, an experienced manager of tourism sites and attractions. Mrs. Hyman worked as executive director of the Barbados National Trust, one of the largest heritage preservation and conservation NGOs in the region, for nine years, beginning in 1992. She is currently under contract to the Trust as project director for the restoration of the George Washington House and site, one of the largest restoration projects undertaken in Barbados.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with headquarters in Barbados and marketing operations in New York, London and Toronto, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency and comprises membership of 32 governments and a myriad of private sector companies.
The CTO’s mission is to provide to and through its members, the services and information needed for the development of sustainable tourism for the economic and social benefit of the Caribbean people. The organization provides specialized support and technical assistance to member countries in the areas of marketing, human resource development, research and statistics and sustainable development.
The CTO disseminates information on behalf of its member governments to consumers and the travel trade.